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April 9, 1999

One of my high school classmates died the other day in Houston, Texas; and I feel compelled to say a few words about her interesting family. Before she passed away, Philamene Lindeman Hardin had lived in the Houston area most of her life, since shortly after marrying Orvil (Red) Hardin in 1949 in the Perry St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. Even though she had been an adopted Texan for some fifty years, I have to believe that Philamene always felt Perry was her home. It was in her blood and in her genes.

Philamene was a native of Perry, the youngest of four strong, healthy and attractive daughters born to Fred and Carrie Lindeman. Her parents were of sturdy, robust stock. Fred Lindeman and his brother, George, were the strapping German-extraction sons of an authentic Cherokee Strip run pioneer, Conrad John Lindeman, and his wife, Rose. The elder Mr. Lindeman was known by his initials, C.J. He staked a claim in the 1893 land run at what is now 712 Delaware Street, just west of The Journal office. He established a grocery store, which later was relocated to the south side of the square. The Lindeman Grocery was a popular business for many years until such family-operated enterprises fell victim to the larger "super" grocery stores of more recent time.

Fred Lindeman was the middle son born to C.J. and Rose. George, the youngest, remained single all his life. The oldest, Isadore, left here as a young man and became a businessman in Ranier, Oregon. Fred and George ran the grocery store after the death of their father in 1913. Later one of Fred's sons-in-law, Bob Craft, became part of the management. A back room at the store was used for Catholic services in Perry until the first church was built. St. Rose of Lima was named for Rose Lindeman, along with two other early-day residents, Rose McCormick and Rose Doyle.

Fred (Dutch) Lindeman and George were musicians and usually played in Dr. W .C. Marshall's summertime community band. Like most of their generation, they found ways to have fun every day of the week. Their sense of humor, practical jokes and story telling were well known and well founded. Fred married the former Carrie Marie Miller, daughter of another pioneer family, E.J. and Ida Miller, in 1916. Carrie had an amazing ability to instantly recall the birth dates of any number of people in the Perry community. If you tossed a name at her, she would respond with the person's birthday.

Mary, the first of Fred and Carrie's daughters, was born in 1917. The second was Lucile (Sidy), in 1919. Ruth, the only surviving member of the family, came along before Philamene was born in 1924. All the girls were immersed in school activities before they graduated from Perry, High School, and they were popular with the girls as well as the boys. In summer months they usually could be found swimming or leaping from the springboard at the Perry Golf & Country Club Lake.

When I rejoined The Journal editorial staff in 1946 after World War II, Philamene was a clerk in the county treasurer's office. Part of my daily morning routine was a trip to the courthouse to pick up any bits of news I could find. Philamene and I always had time to talk about the fabulous class of 1941 one of the greatest yet produced by the local system, and we enjoyed each other's company. She was a buddy, friendly, sympathetic and easy to share thoughts with the kind of pal everyone appreciates. I've missed seeing her except at our occasional class reunions, which have been too few and far between in recent years. I know her extended illness was deeply traumatic for the entire family, and I'm sorry all I could do was to send an occasional message. It's hard to believe she's gone from this earth. All of us need many Philamenes in our life.